Republican Gov. Paul LePage from Maine should resign.
Quick. Fast. And in a hurry.
LePage offered a feeble apology last week for his ill-advised comments about out-of-state drug dealers impregnating young white girls, calling it a mistake and claiming he didn’t mean to inject racial opinions into the debate about Maine’s heroin epidemic.
But he did. And LePage, I believe, knew exactly what he was saying. I don’t believe it was a slip of the tongue, I don’t believe he misspoke. I believe he feels strongly about Black male stereotypes and interracial relationships and he expressed his views without reservation.
How can LePage objectively set legislative policies that also impacts African-American men if he makes comments like this? LaPage described drug dealers as “guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty” and added, “Half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave.”
“I was going impromptu, and my brain didn’t catch up to my mouth. Instead of ‘Maine women,’ I said ‘white women,'” said LePage, who’s white. He noted that, according to the census, Maine is the nation’s whitest state.
When asked if the nicknames for the drug dealers imply they are black, LePage replied, “I don’t know where they’re from. I don’t know if they’re white, black, Asian.”
For LePage, a public servant, there is no place in politics – or in American discourse – for a governor to display this kind of primitive racial rhetoric.
It’s a dangerous pattern for Republicans and LePage’s comments harken back to time when Black men were lynched for just looking at white women.
The Republican Party claims that it wants to be racially inclusive and reach out to African-Americans, but too often I find myself writing columns about Republican men, like LePage, who cross the line with offensive racial remarks – and then apologize, claiming they misspoke.
LePage’s comments come as more white supremacists are rallying around Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy and some whites who attend Trump’s rallies are becoming more racially hostile toward black people.
Last month, during the altercation in Alabama, Mercutio Southhall said he was repeatedly called the N-word and “monkey” as racist supporters of Trump seemed to be following Trump’s orders to remove Southhall from the rally.
“Get him the hell out of here, will you please?” Trump shouted. “Get him out of here. Throw him out!”
And even after Trump learned of this racist response to Southhall’s demonstration, here was Trump’s response:
“Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing,” Trump said on Fox News.
There’s a disturbing pattern emerging during this presidential campaign season.
Lance Dutson, a Republican from Maine and LePage critic, said the governor was playing on racial fears.
“This is one of the most blatantly racist statements he’s ever made,” said Dutson. “One of the things that’s offensive about it is that it’s reminiscent of this fear-mongering in American history that people would like to think is long gone.”
LePage is known for speaking his mind, and it sometimes gets him into trouble. He said on the campaign trail that he’d tell President Barack Obama to “go to hell,” and then soon after he was elected to his first term he told the Portland chapter of the NAACP to “kiss my butt.”
Democratic state Sen. Linda Valentino said after LePage’s news conference that she doesn’t think LePage is racist but that the comment was racially offensive.
“The fact that he wasn’t thinking about what he said is more disturbing than what he said,” Valentino said. “This shows how he really feels.”
I couldn’t agree more.
And that’s why LaPage should resign.
What do you think?